TOM Hewlett’s late penalty earned Leamington a 2-1 win against 10-man AFC Fylde to end the Brakes six-game winless run in all competitions.
Hewlett’s 88th minute spot kick handed Leamington the points after Joe Clarke had equalised with 15 minutes left to play at the Your Co-Op Community Stadium.
The result means Leamington sit eighth in the National League North table having ended Fylde’s own 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Leamington made a fast start with Rackeem Reid inches away from converting Simeon Maye’s flick-on before Callum Hawkins kept out Danny Philliskirk’s header at the other end.
Dan Meredith then saw a powerful low effort from distance travel inches past the post.
However, Fylde took the lead on 15 minutes when the league’s top scorer, Nick Haughton, bent a stunning strike into the top corner.
The Brakes remained on top, despite falling a goal behind, as Meredith saw his effort blocked before Theo Streete sent an audacious overhead kick over the crossbar.
And Leamington went close again at the start of the second period when Reid latched onto Maye’s knock down and lashed a venomous effort inches wide of the post via the aid of a slight deflection.
Fylde had the ball in the net soon after, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside, before the visitors were reduced to 10-men on 73 minutes when Connor Barrett was dismissed for a late challenge on Louis Hall.
And the Brakes drew level just two minutes later when Clarke popped up with a rare goal – just his third in 185 games – as he rose to meet a corner from the left and headed in off the underside of the crossbar.
Leamington increased the pressure thereafter and were rewarded when Streete’s shot was blocked by Fylde substitute Will Hatfield’s arm on the ground as the referee pointed to the spot.
And Burton Albion loanee Hewlett duly converted the resulting penalty, despite Fylde goalkeeper Callum Neal getting a hand to the shot, to secure a much-needed win for Paul Holleran’s men.
Holleran said: “We showed more purpose to our game, more intent. It’s probably helped us not having any midweek games.
“The lads are a real good, honest bunch, I was so happy that in the second half, they got what they deserved today.
“I’m the first to stand here when we’ve been a bit fortunate or we haven’t been good enough, but today I thought from minute one we were excellent.
“We played with a real purpose and lots of energy, and I think the best side won. That performance is the most complete performance of the season.
“I think we have cut out the individual errors, I think our pressing was better, there’s been a bit more quality. The team’s evolving – there’s young players with legs in there.
“We’ve got to throw the ball out more, pass a little bit more, which we did. We’ve beaten good full time sides here before but we’ve had to sit deep and soak it up a bit.
“I think we’ve really gone after them. I’m so delighted with that performance, I really am, and I’m delighted for the players. They’re a great bunch of kids.”
Leamington are next in action at Darlington on Saturday, October 29 with kick-off at 3pm at Blackwell Meadows.